STANFORD, Calif. – Freshman Kiki Pepi had the best outing of her young career, going 4-for-4 with her first career home run, as an eight-run fifth inning lifted the Oregon State softball team to a 13-9 season-ending win over Stanford Saturday afternoon in Stanford, Calif. The victory gave the Beavers their first series win over the Cardinal since 2007.
Pepi added five RBIs, three runs and a double to her final stat-line. Junior CJ Chirichigno also hit a home run in the contest, her seventh of the season as part of a two-run, two-RBI performance. With the homer, Chirichigno became the first Beaver to hit home runs in back-to-back games since Lea Cavestany accomplished the feat in a doubleheader against Cal State Bakersfield on March 25, 2013.
Junior Dani Gilmore went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, moving her batting average to .407 on the season, the fourth-highest mark in Oregon State history. Fellow junior Kori Nishitomi doubled in the contest, and ended the season with the ninth-best batting average in school history at .390.
Oregon State’s 13 runs in the contest tied a season high first set May 4, against UNLV.
Junior Melanie Dembinski threw three and a third innings in relief, allowing no runs and striking out two in the winning effort. Freshman Kylie Padilla recorded a hit, two runs and an RBI, while senior Bailee Niehus tallied a hit and two runs.
Stanford (30-25, 5-19 Pac-12) jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, as it scored a pair, before senior pitcher Amanda Najdek was able to strand a pair to get Oregon State (18-31, 5-17) out of the frame. The Cardinal lead was short-live, however, as the Beavers bounced back with three runs in the second. Niehus and Padilla both got on to start the frame, before senior Hannah Bouska advanced both runners with a sac-bunt. Pepi then hit a double down the right field line to level the score at two. Two batters later, Nishitomi smacked a double to left, plating Pepi to put Oregon State in front.
The Beavers added another run in the third on Chirichigno’s solo-shot to left field, before Pepi curled a solo homer around the foul pole in left to extend the lead to three in the top of the fourth. Stanford bounced back with seven runs in the fourth inning, though, to put the Cardinal in front 9-5.
Not to be out-done, the Beavers scored eight runs in the top of the fifth to retake the lead 13-9. Gilmore came home on a fielder’s choice to start the scoring, before Padilla singled to score Chirichigno. Pepi then came through with a two-RBI base-hit to right, plating Padilla and Niehus. After Bouska came home on an error, Garcia and Gilmore hit back-to-back RBI singles to continue the rally. Chirichigno earned an RBI-walk to close out the scoring, as the Beavers took the four-run victory.
Saturday’s contest marked the final game in the careers of Oregon State seniors Isabelle Batayola, Bouska, Najdek and Niehus.